What do you mean by open data?
Open data comprises data made accessible for re-use along a spectrum of openness and conditions for re-use. It includes data collected by or on behalf of government institutions of all levels, and which has been reviewed as appropriate for public distribution and use by individuals and organizations of all types. Private-sector organizations, civil society organizations, scientific research institutions, and other parties also hold data that could benefit the public if made accessible to certain parties for re-use — though with additional constraints and challenges to be navigated. The Open Data Policy Lab focuses on how to responsibly provide functional access to various high-level datasets held by parties across sectors.
Why should we care about open data?
The opening of data for re-use is becoming an essential building block for the development of new economic opportunities, innovative solutions, and cutting edge technologies developed to address some of our most critical societal challenges – including social, health, environmental, and economic issues. The GovLab’s Open Data’s Impact and DataCollaboratives.org websites contain dozens of examples of impactful (re)uses of data to improve governance, empower people, create economic opportunity, and solve public problems.
How can the Open Data Policy Lab help organizations better open their data for re-use?
The Open Data Policy Lab will use its methodologies and community networks to help government agencies at all levels and other data holders identify best practices to improve the availability, re-use and utility of government data – from identifying the components of effective model legislation or data sharing agreements, to analyzing how governments can best approach the challenge of identifying and releasing high value data sets that are needed to help address critical societal challenges.
What about data protection and privacy?
Data responsibility is an essential component of any open data initiative and a core concern for any open data policy. The Open Data Policy Lab will center the question of how to ensure responsibility across the open data lifecycle — including but not limited to the issues of personal privacy and information security.
How can I get involved?
We are eager to build an Open Data Policy Lab community with individual and organizational members spanning regions and sectors — get in touch with the project team.